Patient satisfaction with telehealth consultations in medical oncology clinics: A cross-sectional study at a metropolitan centre during the COVID-19 pandemic

Andrew O Parsonson*, Peter Grimison, Michael Boyer, Lisa Horvath, Kate Mahon, Jane Beith, Steven Kao, Mun Hui, Sarah Sutherland, Sanjeev Kumar, Gillian Heller, Catriona McNeil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a widespread adoption of telehealth (phone and video consultations) in cancer care worldwide. The aim of this study was to determine patient satisfaction with telehealth consultations with their medical oncologist at a tertiary cancer centre in Sydney, Australia.

Methods: Patients who attended a routine telehealth appointment at the medical oncology outpatient clinic were recruited to complete a questionnaire containing 16 items, each on a 5-point Likert scale regarding satisfaction levels in various aspects of telehealth and their willingness to continue telehealth after the pandemic. Patients were also invited to provide suggestions for improvement.

Results: In total, 150 patients were invited to participate, and 103 valid questionnaires were returned. Median age was 63 years (range: 25–90), 49% of patients were male, 63% of patients had advanced cancer and 81% were on active treatment. In total, 95% of participants indicated that they were satisfied (score ≥4) with telehealth. 82% of participants preferred to continue telehealth consultations after the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, but ideally with a mix of telehealth and in-person consultations. Phone appointments (vs. video, p < 0.002), patients with advanced cancer (vs. early, p < 0.036) and pre-chemotherapy/immunotherapy/targeted therapy treatment reviews (vs. follow-up appointments, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with a willingness to continue telehealth.

Discussion: Patients were overwhelmingly satisfied with telehealth during the study period and were willing to continue telehealth for some appointments beyond the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. More research into the effectiveness, safety and implementation of telehealth to compliment traditional face-to-face services for patient-centred cancer care is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-326
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Volume30
Issue number2
Early online date16 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • medical oncology
  • patient satisfaction
  • telehealth

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